Nourishing Zen

Nourishing YOU. Adventures to Healthy, Happy, and a Fulfilling Life! Food is our medicine.


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A Diabetic’s Dilemma – Weight Loss vs. Insulin


Anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight in their life can tell you that it’s not easy.  Anyone who’s diabetic can also tell you that weight loss is a constant struggle.

Taking insulin is a major component of what prevents us diabetics from losing weight.  For type 1 diabetics such as myself, we are provided with a sliding scale that best suits us.  However, little does anyone tell you, that your sliding scale varies not only day by day, but hour by hour.  What does this mean?  For example, if you’re a person who exercises once a day for an hour each day, five days a week, and eats the same foods each meal, then sure – your sliding scale may be the same.  But who does that?  No one that I know.  So what exactly are the variables that create such differences in our sliding scale?

  1. Foods Consumed – The obvious one.  Fattier foods such as beef, butter, donuts, cheeses etc. will create a major increase in our blood glucose (BG) levels over a long period of time.  This can range anywhere from 8 hours to 24 hours later depending on how fast it is digested.  This is also where the glycemic index of foods come in handy.  Of course, the amount is also a factor here.  Not eating enough could lead to low levels/hypoglycemia.

glycemic-index-chart

2.  Exercise – the amount of time you exercise as well as the type of exercise.  Cardiovascular exercise will decrease your blood sugar more rapidly than strength training.  Strength training will immediately increase your blood glucose due to your muscles needing energy for the work they are doing, but then decrease over a longer period of time.  Normally if I do any strength training, I will follow this up with 15-20 minutes of cardio to help bring the blood glucose down.

3.  Stress – Yes, we all know stress always seems to work against us mentally and physically!  When stressed, my blood sugar is 10-15 points higher overall!  This makes a huge difference!

4.  Hydration – Drinking enough water is so important!  If I’m dehydrated, my blood sugar spikes more often, and for longer periods of time.  I literally have to set my phone to remind me to drink water sometimes, but it is a must!

5.  That ‘Female’ Thing – But of course this wouldn’t help a diabetic’s blood glucose!  Hormones never seem to work in our favor.  Not only is my body temperature higher, but my blood glucose is at least 10 points higher during this time.

6.  Sickness – When sick, my blood sugar can stay high for longer periods of time, especially when I have a fever.  It is actually very, very scary when you do everything you can to keep your levels down but don’t see any results.

So as you can see, all of these vary on a daily basis.  This would mean that a person could have many different sliding scales in a given day.  Often times, if we keep the same sliding scale over a large period of time, and with life factors that are constantly changing, we could very well be taking more or less insulin than needed.  By taking more, your body stores this as fat.  And fat is not my friend.

It is true, that I may never have a perfect sliding scale to accommodate my lifestyle.  However, I have heard of studies about a fake pancreas which would be amazing.  Other than that, us diabetics are kind of screwed.  There is never such thing as perfect sliding scale, and therefore, we are constantly battling weight loss in some way, shape or form!

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Insulin Pump Update!


I haven’t had the Tandem T-Slim insulin pump for very long, but I must say that the results have been incredible. Why?

Convenience. 

Lower cost for supplies than insulin pens. 

Amount of insulin given is to the tenth. 

Tracking. 

Flexibility in customizing the details and profiles for every situation. 

My a1c went from 7.4 to 6.0. 

The average Blood Glucose I’ve had in the past month (30 days) is 112. 

It’s getting me where I need to be with my Diabetes. 

Check out this recent report 

  


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What does a Low Blood Sugar level feel like?


I had my first real low the other night – the first time in a very long time.  You feel a bit woozy – like the way you feel after having a couple drinks and things just start to feel so light and in a way, silly.  You notice your fingers start to shake a little, like when you’ve had a little too much coffee.  Mouth becomes numb, almost tingling.  Visually focusing is difficult too and everything is kind of blurring together.  On the brink of a cold sweat, your entire body starts tingling.  All the while, you feel like stuffing your face to curb the random cravings you’re having.  Yes, this was definitely a low.  I checked my blood sugar, and the glucometer read: 52.

First thought – OH shizz.  This is bad.  Must. Eat. Something.

Lows are no good and can be quite scary!  Worst case scenario is loss of consciousness.  Let’s not think about that possibility.  Us diabetics work so hard at guaging our bodies, and being on top of our health. A combination of exercise, foods we choose to eat, checking BG levels, and insulin dosages can be just right, yet fatal at times.  Take care of yourselves and hopefully no lows will happen to you like it did to me this past week!